In the not-too-distant past, adult sex toys were considered taboo and were hidden away in dark corners. Today, however, they are more openly accepted and are even considered mainstream. You can find sex toys online or in sex toy stores in broad daylight, and why shouldn’t they be accessible? Sexuality is an intrinsic part of our lives, so the taboos against sex toys are insane! Sex toys have certainly come a long way in recent years.
Regarding innovation, sex toys are no longer the simple objects they once were. When sex toys first became commercial items, i.e., objects you could purchase in markets, their form was fairly restricted. But now, they come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and have a variety of functions, ranging from simple vaginal stimulation to deep clitoral stimulation and prostate massage via Bluetooth and remote controls.
But the history of sex toys doesn’t start in the modern age. Since the beginning of time, people have been using various objects for sexual pleasure, even if they weren’t widely available in markets. Sometimes, these objects were carved or fashioned out of natural materials, like stone, wood, or ivory. Other times, they were made from more mundane materials, like leather or even bread!
In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of adult toys. This is likely due in part to the fact that people are becoming more open-minded about their sexuality. Additionally, the internet has made it easier than ever to purchase these products discreetly. There is a toy for everyone, whether you’re looking for something to use alone or with a partner.
But where does the history of sex toys begin? We take you on a wild ride through the history of sex toys, so you can see how far we’ve come as a society.
Sex Toys circa 29,000 BC
It is widely believed that the first adult toys were created by the neanderthals in 29,000 BC. These early dildos were made from various materials, including stone, wood, and bone. While the exact purpose of these objects is still unknown, it is believed that they were used for sexual pleasure, relaxation, and fertility rituals.
While the use of adult toys by the neanderthals is still somewhat of a mystery, it is clear that these early humans were quite creative in their design and use of these objects. It is likely that the neanderthals were the first to truly understand the power of sexual pleasure and how to enhance it using simple yet effective tools.
Sex Toys circa 500 BC
According to some historians, the ancient greeks got truly innovative with the production of sex toys around 500 BC. They made sex toys from brass or stuffed leather, designed to resemble the male and female genitalia. Most shockingly, the ancient greeks also fashioned old loaves of hardened bread into dildos, which they called olisbokollikes.
The use of bread as a dildo is certainly not advisable today. Bread is a highly porous food with a high capacity for bacterial and viral retention. As such, inserting old loaves of bread into your genitals can dramatically increase the risk of yeast infections and STIs. In addition to dildo-shaped objects, the ancient greeks also used olive oil as lubricant!
Sex Toys circa 1300 AD
In 1300 AD, the ancient Chinese got creative with sex toys, paving the way for cock rings and double-sided dildos. The cock ring was worn around the base of the penis to keep the blood from flowing back out. This would allow the man to stay hard for a longer period. The double-sided dildo was a long, thin piece of wood or metal with two pointed ends.
These toys were made of jade, a material considered to be very valuable and used to make many different kinds of objects, including burial objects. Jade was thought to have many magical properties and was used to ward off evil spirits. It was also believed to be able to cure many different kinds of illnesses. The Ancient Chinese believed that wearing jade would also bring good luck.
Sex Toys in the 19th Century
In Victorian England, using certain adult toys was more common than one might think. While the Victorians were known for their prudishness, they were also quite sexually repressed. This led to vibrators and other devices to help relieve sexual tension.
It's often thought that vibrators were originally invented to treat hysteria in women. This was a catch-all term for various symptoms thought to be caused by a woman's uterus. These symptoms could include anxiety, irritability, sexual desire, and seizures. Doctors would treat hysteria by manually stimulating a woman's clitoris. This was often quite time-consuming, so the invention of the vibrator was a welcome relief.
The first so-called recorded use of a vibrator for treating hysteria was said to be in the early 1800s. A physician would have designed a machine called “the manipulator,” which could be used to massage a woman’s vulva and relieve the symptoms of hysteria. Though it was a crude machine designed because of a terribly patriarchal system, it's supposed to have paved the way for modern-day vibrators and dildos. Believers say that vibrators continued to be used to treat hysteria throughout the Victorian era and into the 20th century.
As modern studies have shown, this seems to be all but just a fancy myth, even though it's been ported to the big screens with Hollywood movies such as "Hysteria" with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Modern Sex Toys
Although the use of sex toys can be traced back thousands of years, their commercial availability in the 20th century was largely limited to so-called marital aides for men and women in long-term relationships. The 21st century, however, has seen a boom in the adult toy industry, with a wide variety of toys available for purchase and a growing willingness among people of all genders and orientations to experiment with them.
Several factors have contributed to this increase in the availability and popularity of adult toys. One is the overall de-stigmatization of sex and sexuality that has taken place in recent years. Thanks to the sex-positive movement and the increasing visibility of LGBTQIA+ people and communities, more and more people feel comfortable exploring their desires and finding new ways to experience pleasure.
Another factor is the internet, which has made it easier than ever to purchase sex toys discreetly. In the past, people who wanted to buy sex toys often had to do so through mail-order catalogs or brick-and-mortar stores, often located in less-than-desirable locations. Now, countless online retailers sell everything from vibrators to bondage gear, and customers can have their items shipped directly to their homes with no one the wiser.
The increased availability and acceptability of adult toys have also been helped by the ubiquity of technology. Many of the most popular sex toys today, such as vibrators, are powered by batteries or rechargeable via USB, making them much more user-friendly than their older, plug-in counterparts. And as sex toys have become increasingly technologically advanced, their prices have come down, making them more accessible to a wider range of people.
Nowadays, you can find all types of sex toys, including cock rings, anal beads, bondage gear, dildos, vibrators, cultural stimulators, clitoral suckers (like Namii), and many more. We truly have come a long way — it has never been a better time to enjoy your sexuality.